Endurance And Fortitude In Photography

Outdoor Photography

Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) is a serious condition that impacts different photographers on different levels. It’s a malady that can psychologically make a photographer feel great, but in reality, its cure is found in having endurance and fortitude in photography. While it’s a luxury, to say the least, the latest and greatest gear doesn’t make a mediocre photographer a much better photographer. It may allow him or her to capture more frames per second or acquire focus a quarter second faster, but will it make that person better understand light? Will it make him or her create better compositions? Will it help them learn what constitutes a good background, head angle, avoid mergers, etc.? As stated above, photography is a lifelong learning process, but two key educational aspects of extreme magnitude are often left out of photography textbooks, lectures or how-to articles: having endurance and fortitude in photography!

Endurance and fortitude in photography

Let’s talk about some key requirements to get good photos. Without sounding trite, it’s essential you have a good camera and good glass. To record the image, you need a memory card. Obviously, you didn’t need to read the above to know it’s ridiculous to think you’re going to get any images without them. But I want to make a point in that along with the obvious items, two other obvious requirements are having endurance and fortitude in photography. Photographer “A” can have severe GAS and own $50,000 worth of equipment, but unless he or she is willing to wait for a perfect expression, for the perfect light, for the perfect head angle, etc., photographer “B,” who possesses much less gear but invests time to acquire images, will shoot rings around the big spender.

Endurance and fortitude in photography

Endurance and fortitude are virtues that are essential. Whether you make portraits, photograph pets, landscapes, wildlife, etc., if you don’t have it in you to wait for the moment when all falls into place, your images will fall short of what they could be. Sometimes serendipity occurs, and as soon as you arrive, all falls into place. Patience is not needed in that case. But more often it’s “wait and see.” If you don’t, you cheat yourself. When I lead my photo safaris to Tanzania, it’s essential we wait for the light to be just right, for the animal to turn its head, for the background to align with the subject and for the action to begin. I tell my participants that I get very impatient and if the action doesn’t happen within two hours, we’re outta there! The point here is that waiting for all the pieces to fall into place is as essential as having a lens attached to the camera!

The more times you endure and carry out fortitude, the more times you’ll be rewarded. And the more times you’re rewarded, the more frequently you’ll be willing to wait. Will it always pan out? Absolutely not, but the guarantee is, if you don’t put in the time, effort, and try, you won’t get the shot. Do I sometimes question my decision while I hope events unfold? Absolutely, but in that I’ve often been rewarded in the past, it encourages me to persevere. Think back to when you were young. It seemed it took forever for Christmas or your next birthday to arrive, but when it did, it was worth the wait. When a situation of special light opens up or something magical happens after you’ve waited for a long period, view it as a gift. Having endurance and fortitude in photography will keep rewarding you with more and more.

Endurance and fortitude in photography

To learn more about this subject, join me on a photo safari to Tanzania. Visit www.russburdenphotography.com to get more information.

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